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the children may have the inward and spiritual

grace of baptism ;' and when the parents and others concerned, endeavour to “train up their “ children in the nurture and admonition of the “ Lord;" there is good ground for hope that the blessing will be vouchsafed, either at the time, or afterwards, if the children live. And, in respect to those who die before they commit actual sin, it is a comfort to the parents to reflect, that they brought their children to the Saviour, and sought his blessing, according to his own appointment. But we must not add, that those who die unbaptized, whether by the mistake or fault of the parents or not, die unregenerate ; and so “ cannot “ enter the kingdom of God:” for this would not only inflict a cruel wound on the afflicted mind of the parents ; but would imply a reflection on the mercy and goodness of God to his ancient church, to the unoffending offspring of believing Abraham, to whom he said, “I will be a God to thee and to

thy seed.” Infants were not to be circumcised till the eighth day ; no doubt numbers died before the eighth day ; and, if “ the circumcision of “the heart, by the Spirit,” were inseparable from that of the body, they must have died among the uncircumcised in heart, and have had their portion with them. John the Baptist, being “ filled with “ the Holy Ghost from his mother's womb,” was doubtless regenerated before he was circumcised. And, if those whom Jeremiah called on to “ cir“ cumcise themselves unto the Lord, and take

away the foreskins of their hearts,” 1 (a command,

Jer. iv. 3,

4.

by the way, given to circumcised persons' to re'generate themselves,') through grace obeyed the call, it is evident that they were regenerated subsequently to their sacrament of regeneration. The same was the case of all the Israelites who profited by the exhortations of the servants and ministers of God, before the change of the initiatory ordinance, 'the sacrament of regeneration,' from circumcision to baptism: and the same is for substance the case with all ungodly baptized persons, who at length become “new creatures,” and “ walk in newness of life.” We are required to do our several duties, but the Lord must not be limited. “The wind bloweth where it listeth, and “ thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not “ tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth : “so is every one that is born of the Spirit.”

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SECTION III.

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Quotations from the Reformers or Fathers of our Church concerning Baptism and Regeneration.

' This outward sign doth neither give us the Spirit of God, neither yet grace, that is, the favour of God. For, if, through the washing in the water, the Spirit of grace were given, then it should follow, that whosoever were baptized in 'water should receive this precious gift : but that ' is not so: wherefore I must needs conclude that 'this outward sign, by any power or influence that ‘it hath, bringeth not the Spirit or favour of God.

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1 John ji. 8.

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< That every man receiveth not this treasure in

baptism it is evident; for, put the case, that a

Jew or an infidel should say that he did believe, and believe not indeed; and upon his words

were baptized indeed; (for no man can judge ' what his heart is, but we must receive him unto

baptism, if he confess our faith with his mouth, • albeit his heart be far from thence ;) this mis'creant, now thus baptized, hath received this

outward sign and sacrament, as well as the most ' faithful man believing. Howbeit he neither re

ceiveth the Spirit of God, neither yet any grace, but rather condemnation.'- It followeth that the outward sign giveth no man any grace.

Moreover, if the Spirit of God and his grace were 'bound unto the sacraments, then where the sa

craments were ministered there must the Spirit ‘of grace wait on; and where they were not min

istered should be neither Spirit nor grace. But • that is false; for Cornelius and all his household ‘ received the Holy Ghost before they were bap' tized. . . .Here may we see that, as the Spirit of ‘God lighteth where he will, neither is he bound 'to any thing. Yea, and this example doth well * declare unto us, that the sacraments are given to be an outward witness unto all the congrega* tion of that grace which is given before privately

unto every man.'— When we baptize one that ' is come to the age of discretion, we ask of him

whether he believe: if he answer, Yea, and de'sire baptism, then he is baptized : so that we re‘quire faith of him before he be baptized, (which

Should it not be living?

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' is the gift of God, and cometh of grace ;) and so ‘it is an outward sign of his invisible faith which ' was before given him of God.!!

'His supposition' (Rastall's) 'is this, that all 'men which are baptized with material water are

very Christian men, and have the true faith, and ' are those which Paul affirmeth to be without spot, blame, or wrinkle. But thereto I say, Nay: for,

even as the outward circumcision made .not the * Jews the elect people, and children of salvation,

so doth not the outward baptism make us the • faithful members of Christ : but, as they were • the children of God which were inwardly cir

cumcised, even so they that are washed inwardly * from the concupiscence of this world, are the 'members of Christ.'2

· Christ saith—“Except a man be born again from above, he cannot see the kingdom of God." ' He must have a regeneration : and what is this regeneration? It is not to be christened in water, (as these firebrands expound it, 3) and no'thing else. How is it to be expounded thenSt. · Peter sheweth that one place of scripture declar(eth another. It is the circumstance and colla‘tion of places that make scripture plain. Saith · St. Peter, “ We be born again.” How i ' by a mortal seed, but by an immortal.” What is

" Treatise on baptism, written, 1553, by John Frith, martyr: FATHERS of the English Church, vol. i. p. 384–386. The publication here referred to is of great iniportance to those who really desire to know the sentiments of the venerable reformers of our established church.

? A book on purgatory, in answer to Rastall and Sir Thomas More, by John Frith. Fathers, &c. vol. i. p. 408.

Meaning the Papists.

“ Not

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this immortal seed? By the word of the living 'God:” by the word of God preached and opened. Thus cometh in our new birth.'l

'We mean of a second birth, which is spiritual ' whereby our inward man and mind are renewed

by the Holy Ghost, so that our hearts and minds ‘ receive new desires, which they had not of their ' first birth or nativity. And the second birth is by * the water of baptism, &c.'? • St. Austin sheweth • the same to be true in the sacrament, both of

baptism and of the Lord's body, which he saith do profit only them that receive the same worthily.' "Therefore, as in baptism those who come feignedly, and those that come unfeignedly, both

be washed with the sacramental water ; but both . be not washed with the Holy Ghost, and clothed

with Christ : so in the Lord's supper both eat • and drink the sacramental bread and wine, but • both eat not Christ himself, and be fed with his flesh and blood; but those only which worthily

receive the sacrament.' Whosoever cometh to • that water, being of the age of discretion, must • examine himself duly, lest if he come unworthily

(none otherwise than he would coine unto other common water,) he be not renewed in Christ, but instead of salvation receive his damnation.'3

No doubt in Cranmer's writings, particularly those of his former years, there are many expressions which shew that he supposed the inward and spiritual grace to be generally attendant on the

Latimer, bishop and martyr. Ninth sermon preached before King Edward. Fathers &c. vol. ii. p. 654, 655.

* Archbishop Cranmer : Fathers, &c. vol. iii. p. 291, 491, 492. a Cranmer, Fathers, &c. vol. iii. p. 535.

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